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WRITER PUTS SPOT­LIGHT ON PERTH

Kwinana Courier - - Revue Entertainment -

WRIT­ING about Perth’s grit­tier, seamier side is as much about fact as it is fic­tion for ac­claimed crime writer David WhishWil­son, who joins Monique Mul­li­gan in con­ver­sa­tion at Sto­ries on Stage on Septem­ber 13.

“I aim to write a grip­ping crime story that will ap­peal to a broad read­er­ship, but also that re­flects some­thing spe­cific about the city that I love and call home,” Whish-Wil­son said.

“One of the strengths of crime fic­tion is that it fore­grounds place and set­ting, both to cre­ate at­mos­phere and tone, but also to ex­plore what makes one place and its crime dif­fer­ent from every other place.

“I try to use sto­ries that re­flect some­thing of the truth of this place.

“Not all of my rep­re­sen­ta­tions of this place are flat­ter­ing, and yet I’ve been paid the com­pli­ment many times over the years by peo­ple who’ve con­tacted me to say, on the one hand ‘finally some­one has writ­ten about this’, and on the other hand ‘I didn’t know that about my city, but now I’m re­ally glad that I do.’ ”

Whish-Wil­son has taught in the prison sys­tem in both WA and Fiji, where he started the coun­try’s first pris­oner writ­ing pro­gram, which now op­er­ates in all Fi­jian pris­ons, but says his writ­ing, ex­pe­ri­ences and re­search haven’t changed the way he sees Perth.

“Work­ing in the prison sys­tem, and know­ing some peo­ple from that world, and re­ly­ing on in­ter­views and in­for­ma­tion from peo­ple of that world has opened my eyes to some things that I might’ve oth­er­wise missed.

“And yet the way I see it, crime is part of every so­ci­ety, and know­ing about some of the things that go on here, of­ten in plain sight, doesn’t di­min­ish my love for this place and my feel­ing of grat­i­tude that I get to live here.”

The Fre­man­tle-based au­thor’s se­cond novel Line of Sight the first in the Frank Swann se­ries, was pub­lished by Pen­guin in 2010 and short-listed for a 2011 Ned Kelly Award. Zero at the Bone fol­lowed in 2013 and Old Scores was re­leased in 2016.

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